For years, I had a favorite Mother’s Day memory. (Which is saying a lot, because after several failed attempts with adoption agencies, Mother’s Day was just one more reminder of what I couldn’t have.)
We were at church. I didn’t really want to be around all those cheerful moms with hips full of toddlers. But we had responsibilities.
Our church actually did a great job of recognizing all women for the role they have in the lives of children. Still, I was at a breaking point. I stood in the auditorium aisle, my path to the bathroom blocked by a large family. All I wanted was to escape and let the tears fall.
Before I could push through the group, I heard my name. Turning, I saw my friend’s young son tearing toward me, pudgy little legs pumping. He leapt into my arms as I knelt to catch him. Throwing himself against me, he buried his face in my hair and said, “Happy Mother’s Day!”
Struggling with my emotions, I hung on tight as people washed past us. He held me just as tight.
I don’t know how he knew, but that little boy saved my Mother’s Day.
I *had* a favorite memory.
This year trumps that day, by far.
For the first time, the kids spontaneously created artwork. I came downstairs to find our son clearing off the kitchen table. (Who is this child?) After church, we went to my favorite restaurant, then to a national park. The kids SMILED for pictures. Both of them. At the same time.
Our daughter walked beside me on the trail, her arm around my waist, mine draped across her shoulders.
Our son said, “you’re the best mom in the world.” This is a kid who’s lived with seven families…I feel like he’s sort of an expert on moms. Pretty much one of the most amazing moments of my life.
We have some pretty tough days with these kids, dealing with PTSD, RAD, ADHD and general behavior craziness. But today was absolute beauty. I’m so thankful for this new favorite memory. And so thankful to Hubby for orchestrating everything.
Today, truly, is a happy Mother’s Day.
For Blogging 101: New to me…Q&A. (This was an actual conversation.)
Q: I’m an adopted child, now adult, and have connected with my birth mom and several brothers. I wanted to be open with my mom (adoptive) and told her. She hasn’t said anything outright, but I don’t think she’s happy about it. Why can’t she be happy for me? She has nothing to be jealous about–she’s my mom.
A: As a young adoptive mom (we have an 8 & 10 yr old; they’ve been with us almost 4 years), I already grit my teeth at the thought of my kids going to find the people who hurt them in the first place. I do understand at some level the need to have connection and the loss they must feel, but still, I know it will be difficult.
You might want to try not mentioning it to your mom; you’re just trying to be honest, but she may feel that you’re throwing it in her face (this may be a completely subconscious feeling that she doesn’t even recognize), which intensifies the hurt. If she asks about them, you can just say, “Oh, we talk occasionally.” Otherwise, I wouldn’t bring it up.
I imagine myself being a selfless adoptive mother when the time comes, listening to all their experiences with the birth family, but I have a feeling (let’s be honest) I’ll be happiest if they say, “Wow, those people are awful. I’m so glad I was with you.”
If they really get along with them and want to spend time with them, I’ll probably feel jealous…”they treated you horribly and abandoned you. I spent every waking minute of my life after meeting you–and many of my dreaming moments–trying to make your life better. I spent half of those years sitting in offices, taking you to counseling and occupational therapy and speech therapy and neurology appointments, not to mention all the visits to the principal and working with the school, fighting to get you special help. And now you’d rather spend time with THEM instead of me?”
Again, I hope I’ll be able to be the bigger person and see it from their perspective–they’ll be discovering themselves, seeing their own gestures and features in other people, finding connections that only genetics can provide. But I have a feeling that if they really like “those people,” I won’t want to hear about it.
I could be totally off-mark, but I hope that helps you understand your mom a little…I bet she’s feeling something similar.